WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, won big on Alphabet Inc. stock and added bets on Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. in the weeks leading up to the House Judiciary Committee’s vote on antitrust legislation that seeks to severely limit how these companies organize and offer their products.
In a financial disclosure signed by Nancy Pelosi on July 2, her husband reported exercising call options to acquire 4,000 shares of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, at a strike price of $1,200. The trade netted him a $4.8 million gain, and it has risen to $5.3 million since then as the shares have jumped.
The transaction was completed just a week before the House Judiciary Committee advanced six bipartisan antitrust bills, four of which take aim at Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook Inc. Market reaction was muted, suggesting that investors don’t see the House proposals as a real threat to the companies. Alphabet’s share price has increased 3.2 percent since the judiciary panel approved the legislation.
Paul Pelosi on May 21 also bought 20 call options for Amazon with a strike price of $3,000, expiring in June 2022, suggesting that he expects the online retailer to continue its gains. He also bet on Apple, purchasing 50 call options with the same expiration date and a strike price of $100.
“The speaker has no involvement or prior knowledge of these transactions,” her spokesman Drew Hammill said in an emailed statement Wednesday, adding that Speaker Pelosi doesn’t own any stock.
In fact, Nancy Pelosi last month said she supports the judiciary committee’s bipartisan effort to challenge the hold that big technology companies have over the internet economy, telling reporters that Congress is “not going to ignore the consolidation that has happened and the concern that exists on both sides of the aisle.” She said Congress’ responsibility is to “the consumer and competition.”
The six antitrust bills, especially the four that target a narrow set of companies, have a long road to become law. Pelosi’s top deputy, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, said the legislation needs work before getting a vote in the full House. And the Senate presents an even tougher hurdle, where support from at least 10 Republicans is required to pass.
Paul Pelosi made his fortune in real estate and venture capital in the San Francisco area. His transactions are not suspected of violating any laws regarding members of Congress, their spouses and insider trading.
Disclosure reports must be filed within 30 days that lawmakers are aware of a transaction, or no more than 45 days after the transaction took place, according to House guidelines.
Story by Billy House and Anna Edgerton.